Marinette Legion players celebrate with the Firecracker Tourney trophy following their victory Sunday at Pedersen Ball Park.  EagleHerald/Jody Korch
Marinette Legion players celebrate with the Firecracker Tourney trophy following their victory Sunday at Pedersen Ball Park.
EagleHerald/Jody Korch
MARINETTE - It started with a Jake McMahon masterpiece and ended with a trophy presentation.

The Marinette Firecracker Tourney couldn't have gone much better for Post 39.

Marinette and Manitowoc finished 3-0, but the home team won the tiebreaker, least runs allowed. Led by complete-game pitching gems from McMahon, Austin Wright and Ty Bebo, Marinette allowed just two runs.

"You're not going to lose many times with that type of pitching effort," Marinette coach Brian Lesandrini said. "All three starters pitched outstanding."

Especially McMahon, who spun a seven-inning no-hitter in Saturday's 9-0 win over Marquette at hitter-friendly Haase Field. The selfless, hard-throwing righthander struck out 14 of the 23 batters he faced, yet gave the credit to his flawless defense.

"They did more than I did," McMahon said. "That's pretty much the main point - my defense. My defense was there for me and we hit the ball."

Only one Blues' player hit the ball hard. Marinette first baseman Luke Kelly speared Ryan Walther's line-drive one-hopper for a putout in the fifth inning.

The game ended on a comebacker to McMahon for an easy putout - one of only six balls put in play by Marquette.

"I'm like, 'oh man, it's actually a no-no,'" McMahon said of his first-ever no-hitter.

McMahon, who used an overpowering fastball, curveball and changeup, had a perfect game going until walking two batters in the fifth. He threw just 86 pitches - 58 for strikes.

"He was hitting his spots obviously very well inside/outside," Marinette coach Brian Lesandrini said. "He threw about as well as you could have."

Afterwards, Blues' coach Derek Swajanen chewed out his team, which fell to 21-12, at length, then sent them to the batting cage for at least 90 minutes.

"Seems like we get everybody's best pitcher this year," Swajanen said. "His ball-to-strike ratio is exceptional. We didn't come to compete today."

Marinette took a 1-0 lead in the third when Ty Bebo walked, stole second and scored on a passed ball. In a three-run fourth, McMahon lined a two-run single to left.

Marinette broke the game open with five runs in the sixth, started by Derek Klegin's two-out single. Scott Eldredge singled, Nate Kallestad walked and Aaron Benson drilled a base-clearing doublt to left/center. Luke Kelly singled him home, and Kelly scored on a balk.

On Sunday, Marinette needed to win and allow fewer than seven runs to clinch its first Firecracker Tourney title in four years.

In Marinette's 11-1, six-inning win over Ishpeming, Bebo allowed one unearned run on three hits with two walks and seven K's.

"My curveball was really on, and for the most part, my fastball, I was locating it pretty well," Bebo said.

Bebo allowed the first two batters to reach safely in the first, but he caught Noah Olgren looking at a called third strike, then ended the inning with a groundout and a strikeout.

In the fifth, Jake Richards' RBI single cut Marinette's lead to 3-1, and Ishpeming got the tying runs on base. Bebo ended the threat with two strikeouts.

Ishpeming ran itself out of an inning in the sixth. Olgren was gunned down at the plate by rightfielder Wright, and Alex Briones was thrown out trying to steal third.

The first four Marinette batters reached on errors in the fifst. Wright hit a two-run single.

In a six-run fifth, Klegin hit an RBI single, Kallestad drew a bases-loaded walk and Benson launched a two-run double deep to center.

Klegin slapped a two-run single in the sixth.

Marinette played the tourney without two of its best pitchers. Austin Belonga headed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy on Saturday. Kelly is unable to pitch this summer due to a sore arm.

Marinette, now 13-7, has won five straight.

"We're starting to gather it all, and everything's starting to click," Bebo said.
Marinette 11, Ishpeming 1

WP - Ty Bebo 6 IP, 1R, 0ER, 3H, 2W, 7K

LP - Jake Richards 4 IP, 3R, 0ER, 4H, 1W, 3K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Austin Wright 2x4, 2 RBIs; Derek Klegin 2x5, 2 RBIs; Luke Johnson & Jake McMahon 1x2; Scott Eldredge 1x3, 2B; Luke Kelly & Cody Tessmer 1x3; (Ishpeming): Jake Richards 1x2, RBI

Ishpeming 000 010 - 1

Marinette 300 062 - 11

Marinette 9, Marquette 0

WP - Jake McMahon 7 IP, 0R, 0H, 2W, 14K

LP - Ryan Hanson 3 IP, 4R, 4ER, 2H, 5W, 3K

Leading hitters (Marinette): Benson 1x2, 2B, 3 RBIs; Luke Kelly 1x2, RBI; Kallestad 1x3

Marquette 000 000 0 - 0

Marinette 001 305 x - 9